2 years after my daughter Lauren had heart transplant, in January Lauren had her yearly biopsy. The biopsy came back no rejection, but they found she had an arteriovenous (AV) fistula which is an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein. Normally, blood flows from your arteries to your capillaries to your veins. After meeting with a Vascular surgeon, they scheduled surgery to correct the fistula. Since Lauren’s transplant her blood flows have always been high, but the Dr.’s didn’t seem to concerned to much about it. The main concern was the body wasn’t rejecting the heart. The surgery was scheduled a couple a weeks ago at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston Ma. We were told the surgery would be around 2 hours and they were going to admit Lauren in the hospital over night just for observation.
My husband Dean and I were nervous about Lauren having to go through another surgery after everything she has been through, in the back of our minds we knew there are always chances of complications with any surgery. Not to mention how Lauren felt about another surgery. The three of us talked and agreed it was going to be a quick surgery, and also Lauren wanted to be able to see some of the wonderful people that helped her get through her life changing experience again.
Every time I go back to Brigham’s I have anxiety, to many memories of when we were living there. My husband has a wonderful way of keeping me and Lauren calm to get through it. We are two lucky women to have him in our lives.
We arrived at the hospital 6:00 a.m., Lauren’s surgery was scheduled for 8:oo a.m. When they took Lauren in, they told my husband they would be in contact with him with updates while we sat in the family room waiting. After a couple of hours they called and said she was doing good, relief was all we felt. You see, every time she has had surgery there was always complications so in our minds it was always there. Well, this time was different. To sum it up, Lauren’s surgery ended up taking 6 hours, not 2. The original ultrasound showed one fistula, but they found 3. They were able to fix 2 of them only, Lauren was in surgery to long and they didn’t want to keep her under any longer for safety reasons. We were shocked to find out she 3. The surgeon told us her blood pressures did improve enormously. With all the procedures she had in the past couple of years, we were told they were really not that surprised, but it was something they didn’t expect to have to do. By 6:00p.m. we were able to see Lauren in the recovery room. We were then told, her room wasn’t ready yet, it would be another couple of hours. All we kept thinking was, OK it’s over and our daughter is going to be alright. Big relief.
So back to waiting. Give my husband the remote and he’s a happy man.
Lauren was suppose to stay in the Shapiro Building, but they didn’t have any rooms so they moved to the Towers Building. I kept thinking Lauren was going to be upset, we never stayed there and she wouldn’t be able to see any familiar faces. Come to find out it didn’t matter. Lauren was so sick during the night, throwing up from all the meds she was given. The room we stayed in was in the Pavilion Suites. They really upgraded her. This floor is for celebrities or you have to pay big time to be able to stay there. Talk about a hospital room. Imagine this, hardwood floors, cherry trim all around. The menu could have been from a 5 star restaurant. She deserved it. But she didn’t know where she was until the next morning when she woke up.
This is how they served the meals, room service style. Lauren’s breakfast.
That morning we told Lauren about what happened during her surgery. She was shocked to find out she was in surgery for 6 hours and she had 3 fistula’s instead of one. Lauren did have quite a few visitors from the Shapiro Building that took care of her. They found out where she was and everyone kept saying “wow, how did you get this floor”. It made her feel very special and she was able to visit with old friends.
It was a long trip for my husband and I, but the end result was Lauren was doing great now. Sore but good. They took great care of her and we were told they are not concerned at this time about the last fistula they could not repair. Maybe down the road, but not at this point.
It has been two weeks since her surgery, last Friday the three of us got back in the car and had our appointment with Lauren’s surgeon for a follow-up. All is good. Lauren is still sore, but we were told it is normal healing.
Thank you Brigham and Women’s Hospital for taking great care of our daughter again.
With much love
Lynne, Dean & Lauren